Local gospel choir DaNell Daymon and Royalty is one of many gospel choirs competing in an online public voting competition co-sponsored by the Gospel Music Channel and the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association. The Most Powerful Voices competition, which runs through April 6, aims to raise awareness about stroke, particularly in the African American community.
Each choir presents a number on the competition’s Web site, and visitors can vote for the choir they think is best. Voting is open through March 20, and each choir needs at least five different registered voters to be in the running. After March 20 a panel of judges will select the 20 best choirs from those with at least five votes. The public may then vote for their choice of these 20 finalists from March 28-April 6, when the two winning choirs (small and large) will be notified. Those two choirs will perform at the Power Awards Ceremony on May 7 in New York City, and one will be chosen by EMI as the grand prize winner, to receive a coaching session from an EMI gospel recording artist. Other prizes include tickets to the ceremony and $1,000 worth of sound equipment from Roland.
Tacoma-based DaNell Daymon and Royalty is, at 25 members, one of the smallest choirs competing. The competition is part of the Power To End Stroke campaign, targeted to African Americans because of their disproportionate risks of stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death for all Americans, and African Americans are at increased risk due to the higher prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and previous heart attack and/or stroke.